>> Rows of shoes lined up like tombstones in a graveyard, placed just outside the capital building in San Juan to mark the death toll in Puerto Rico from last year's brutal hurricane season as the island braces for the start of a new one. The memorial is for those who died directly or indirectly from the worst natural disaster to strike the island in almost a century.
Nierra Morales Perez is still grieving.>> I'm here because my sister died. My sister is part of the statistics. She got in an accident, and they couldn't operate on her in time. She was in the emergency room, in the trauma unit, and she was in the intensive care unit for 51 days until she died on December 21st, 2017.
>> The memorial visualizes the discrepancy between the official death figure of 64, given by the federal government and the much larger 4,645 deaths estimated by Harvard University. Elmer Sanchez Ortiz is one of the many calling for true recognition for all who died.>> I'm here to pay homage to all these victims, who the government for their negligence didn't want to count.
And there are still more, because as I understand it, many of them were cremated, and there are no records for them.>> Each piece of footwear, from high heels to boots to sneakers and everything in between, telling a story of an individual who died between September 20th and December 31st.
The power outages and infrastructure deficiencies that have racked the island since Hurricane Maria hit last year have yet to be fully fixed. And could pose a threat to more lives, as another hurricane season begins.